Implementing the Five Rs of Nutrient Stewardship for Fertigation in Florida’s Vegetable Production

Diagram of root zone fertilized with drip fertigation (left) and dry granular fertilization with drip irrigation (right). This diagram illustrates how a fertigation system is able to confine nutrients to the root zone. Because the nutrients are supplied with irrigation and in small quantities, they are less likely to leach and more likely to be taken up by the crop. Conversely, granular fertilization supplies the soil with a larger quantity of nutrients at one time, thereby enhancing the likelihood of leaching. Credits: Mary Dixon, UF/IFAS

The five Rs of nutrient stewardship is a mnemonic device used to emphasize accuracy and precision for nutrient management so as to apply the (1) right source of fertilizer at the (2) right rate at the (3) right time in the (4) right place with the (5) right irrigation. Because the majority of Florida’s soils are sandy, this fifth R is imperative for sustainable nutrient management for commercial crop production. These main points of nutrient management (source, rate, time, place, irrigation) may help enhance sustainability by reducing pollution by eutrophication, nitrogen loss through ammonia volatilization, and climate change from soil greenhouse gas emission. This new 8-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department was written by Mary Dixon and Guodong Liu.

Production Guide for Choy Sum: An Emerging Asian Vegetable in Florida

Cooked choy sum. A) Flowered choy sum chopped into pieces and stir-fried with dried chili pepper. Credit: Yi Wang; B) Purple choy sum chopped and stir-fried with garlic and Sichuan peppercorns. Credits: Yi Wang, Kaijiang, Sichuan, China

Choy sum, also known as Chinese flowering cabbage, is a leafy vegetable that has been widely cultivated in southern China for more than 1,000 years, and is currently cultivated and consumed by a growing population in the western world. This new 5-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, written by Yanlin Wang and Guodong Liu, provides a brief overview of choy sum and its cultivation, as well as some suggestions for how to include it in a meal.

Recomendaciones para el Control y Mitigación de la Marchitez del Laurel y sus Vectores, los Escarabajos Ambrosia, en Arboledas Comerciales de Aguacate en Florida

Avocado. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

This is the Spanish translation of Recommendations for Control and Mitigation of Laurel Wilt and Ambrosia Beetle Vectors in Commercial Avocado Groves in Florida (HS1360). Laurel wilt and the ambrosia beetle vectors that transmit this lethal disease have and will continue to affect avocado production in Florida. At least 50% of the commercial producers are Hispanic Americans and some are more comfortable with publications in Spanish. The translator, Rubén Regalado, and reviewer, Carlos Balerdi, are both previous employees of UF/IFAS.

Irrigation System Descriptions for Tropical and Subtropical Fruit Crops in Florida

Irrigation. The Fort Lauderdale Research Addresses the unique concerns of the highly urbanized commercial horticulture and pest control industries and related urban/suburban consumer population of subtropical Southern Florida and agricultural producers, land and water managers , and consumers throughout Florida.  Photo Credits:  UF/IFAS File Photo

Florida’s tropical and subtropical fruit crop industries use various irrigation systems, including high-volume systems designed for irrigation and freeze protection, drip systems for herbaceous fruit crops (papaya, banana), and microsprinkler types, mainly for irrigation and fertigation. There continues to be a steady stream of potential tropical and subtropical fruit producers in Florida, many with little to no knowledge of the various types or purposes of various irrigation system that have been used successfully for the past 60 years. This new 9-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department includes potential producers, Extension faculty and agents, and irrigation companies. Written by Jonathan Crane, Haimanote Bayabil, Edward A. Evans, and Fredy Ballen.

Daikon Radish Cultivation Guide for Florida

Healthy daikon radish foliage (A) and root (B) at approximately 6 weeks. Credits: Mary Dixon, UF/IFAS

Daikon radish is a versatile vegetable crop in the mustard family. It produces a large, white, cylindrical fleshy root weighing up to 4-7 lb. Daikon radish is an especially common vegetable in Asia, particularly Japan, and it tends to be less spicy than other garden types of radish. This new 7-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department provides a primer on cultivation of daikon in Florida, including sections on propagation, growing conditions, pests and diseases, and agricultural, culinary, and medicinal uses. Written by Mary Dixon and Guodong Liu.

Florida Cultivation Guide for Malabar Spinach

Malabar spinach flower. Credits: Chunfang Li, FDACS-DPI

Malabar spinach (Basella spp.) is a nutritious vegetable in the family Basellaceae. Malabar spinach goes by many names, including Indian spinach, Ceylon spinach, vine spinach, and climbing spinach. Malabar spinach has long been established in cultivation in China and India. This spinach is a novel crop to Florida and is currently grown only for niche markets. However, Florida’s suitable climate coupled with Malabar spinach’s great taste and nutritional quality suggest that this crop has great potential for commercial cultivation. This new 8-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department describes in brief how to grow Malabar spinach, manage pests, harvest, and market it. Written by Yuheng Qiu and Guodong Liu.

Hand Pruning and Training of Tropical and Subtropical Fruit Trees

Heading cuts (tipping) are made toward the end of a branch near a node or growing point. Credits: R. J. Campbell, UF/IFAS

This new 6-page document explains the proper way to prune fruit trees using hand tools. An important aspect of growing tropical and subtropical fruit trees is size control through pruning. In addition to size control, pruning also makes it easier to spray the tree and harvest fruit from the tree. Pruning also makes the tree more hardy to wind events and healthier in general because you can remove damaged or unhealthy parts of the tree. Written by Jeff Wasielewski, Jonathan Crane, and Carlos Balerdi, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.

Bacterial Black Spot (BBS) of Mango in Florida

Mangos on trees. Photo taken 06-27-18.  Photo Credits:  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

Bacterial black spot, caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas citri pv. mangiferaeindicae, is a relatively new (~2015) bacterial disease in Florida that has the potential to limit mango production of some cultivars. This new 6-page fact sheet provides the current knowledge and status of the disease potential on various cultivars. Written by Jonathan Crane and Romina Gazis, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.

Monitoreo de la Savia del Peciolo de Vegetales

HACH colorimeter and two viewing tubes filled with diluted sap. UF/IFAS file photo

A medida que los productores y consultores comienzan a usar la tecnología de monitoreo de savia, surgen preguntas sobre los procedimientos del monitoreo de savia. Las siguientes guías deberían ayudar a las personas que actualmente usan o están interesadas en usar el monitoreo de savia. La mayoría de estas guías se han desarrollado a través de investigaciones en Florida, o se basan en la experiencia de campo.
This is the Spanish translation of CIR1144/CV004, Plant Petiole Sap-Testing For Vegetable Crops. Written by George Hochmuth, translated by Maria Paz Kinslow, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.

Antibiotics in Crop Production

Basket of fresh tomatoes and bell peppers. UF/IFAS file photo.

This new 5-page article presents an overview of the use of antibiotics in agriculture. Several of the most severe bacterial diseases of tree fruit and other crops are discussed and their integrated management, which includes the use of antibiotics, is described. Antibiotic use for plant disease protection is compared with the use of antibiotics in livestock production, and their future and limitations in plant production are discussed. Written by Leigh Archer, Ute Albrecht, and Pamela Roberts, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.

Cultivo de ciruelas en Florida

A close-up of a plum on a tree.

Las ciruelas podrían ser un cultivo potencial para los productores y propietarios de viviendas en Florida y otras áreas de invierno templado en toda la costa del Golfo, pero muchas variedades de ciruelas de la costa oeste no funcionarán de manera consistente en Florida para producir fruta. Sin embargo, el programa de mejoramiento de fruta de hueso de la Universidad de Florida ha desarrollado cultivares que mejoran el potencial para el cultivo de ciruelas en Florida y otras áreas de invierno templado que tienen alta presión de enfermedades. Estos cultivares se recomiendan para probar en Florida. Los nombres de todos los cultivares de ciruela de la Universidad de Florida comienzan con el prefijo 'Gulf'. Estos cultivares son ciruelas de tipo japonés (Prunus salicina Lindl.) y tienen resistencia al escaldado de hojas de ciruela (Xylella fastidiosa) y a la bacteriosis o cribado (Xanthomonas campestris). El tamaño del fruto es satisfactorio (aproximadamente 1½ a 2 pulgadas de diámetro) con buena calidad del fruto. Maduran a principios o finales de mayo, aproximadamente dos semanas antes de que las ciruelas de otras áreas lleguen al Mercado.
This new 14-page fact sheet is the Spanish translation of HS895/HS250, Growing Plums in Florida, written by A. Sarkhosh, M. Olmstead, E. P. Miller, P. C. Andersen, and J. G. Williamson, translated by Tatiana Sanchez, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.

Using Supplemental Lighting to Control Flowering of Hops in Florida

The UF/IFAS GCREC research hop yard in Balm, FL at night. Credits: Shinsuke Agehara, UF/IFAS

Hops (Humulus lupulus L.) are an emerging crop in Florida. Florida’s craft beer industry has experienced significant growth over the last 10 years, with 285 breweries producing 42.6 million gallons of beer and generating an economic impact of $3.6 billion in 2018. To respond to their strong demand for locally grown hops, an interdisciplinary hops research team is currently studying optimum crop management practices at the UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (UF/IFAS GCREC). In Florida, the major yield-limiting factor is premature flowering induced by inadequate day length. This new 4-page article, written by Shinsuke Agehara and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, provides guidelines for supplemental lighting to control flowering of hops in Florida.

Calendar for Southern Highbush Blueberry Management in Florida

FL06-556 blueberry variety. UF/IFAS photo by Tyler Jones.

Southern highbush blueberries (SHB) are commercially grown throughout Florida in both deciduous and evergreen systems. This calendar addresses general management requirements on a monthly basis for conventional (nonorganic) systems and should be used in coordination with other UF/IFAS EDIS publications. This new 7-page article, published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, was written by Douglas A. Phillips, Jeffrey G. Williamson, Philip F. Harmon, Oscar E. Liburd, and Peter J. Dittmar.

Evergreen Production System for Southern Highbush Blueberries in Florida

Kestrel blueberries. Credit: Douglas A. Phillips, UF/IFAS

In central and south-central Florida, many southern highbush blueberries (SHB) are grown in an evergreen system, in which the plants do not go dormant, and are managed to retain their leaves from the previous year through harvest the following spring to support early flowering and fruit set. The evergreen system has also been used under tunnels in north-central Florida. This new 3-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department, written by Douglas A. Phillips, Jeffrey G. Williamson, and Patricio R. Munoz, provides an overview of the evergreen production system for SHB in Florida.

Recommendations for Control and Mitigation of Laurel Wilt and Ambrosia Beetle Vectors in Commercial Avocado Groves in Florida

Avocado. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

The lethal laurel wilt epidemic affecting avocado trees in Florida is caused by a fungal pathogen-ambrosia beetle complex (LW-AB). The death of over 120,000 commercial avocado trees in Florida may be attributed to LW-AB. Recommendations for control and mitigation of this epidemic are needed to guide commercial producers in their decision-making process. This new 8-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department outlines the LW-AB epidemic, provides information on the pathogen and ambrosia beetle vectors, provides a brief outline of current research findings, and offers recommendations for the control and mitigation of LW-AB. Written by Jonathan H. Crane, Daniel Carrillo, Edward A. Evans, Romina Gazis, Bruce Schaffer, Fredy Ballen, and Jeff Wasielewski.

El higo

Color de la cáscara de la fruta entre diferentes variedades de higo. Créditos: Ali Sarkhosh, UF/IFAS

El higo (Ficus carica L; familia Moracea) se originó en los trópicos del Viejo Mundo: Asia Menor y la Región Mediterránea. En el Mediterráneo, el higo se ha cultivado desde el año 5,000 a.C. Muchos cultivares de higos fueron importados del Viejo Mundo en los últimos 50 años. Actualmente, sin embargo, no hay programas de mejoramiento de higos en los Estados Unidos, y de entre al menos 60-100 cultivares de higos nombrados, relativamente pocos se cultivan en el sureste de los Estados Unidos.

This is the Spanish version of HS27, The Fig. ( Written by Ali Sarkhosh and Peter C. Andersen, translated by Luis Jonathan Clavijo Herrera, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.

Fertigation via Center Pivot Irrigation for Commercial Potato Production in Florida

Red potatoes. Vegetables, food, nutrition. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones

Potatoes are an important crop in the United States, and Florida is ranked the 7th producer nationwide for potato production. In Florida, potatoes are mainly planted on sandy soils with low nutrient- and water-holding capacities. Nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient in these soils. Adopting efficient fertilization methods such as fertigation is imperative for minimizing leaching and improving use efficiency of nitrogen. This new 12-page article provides step-by-step guidelines for fertigation practices for commercial potato production. Written by Xiangju Fu, Guodong Liu, Lincoln Zotarelli, Steven Sargent, Kati Migliaccio, and Yuncong Li, and published by the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department.

Pruning Southern Highbush Blueberry in Florida

'Farthing' blueberry plants previously trained to a narrow crown with cartons.

Pruning is an essential part of blueberry production and is used to help establish new plantings; promote postharvest growth of new foliage and fruiting wood; balance vegetative and reproductive growth; reduce disease and certain insect pressure; assist in harvesting efficiency; and promote new cane growth and plant longevity. This new 3-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department is a discussion of pruning practices on southern highbush blueberry in Florida. Written by Douglas A. Phillips and Jeffrey G. Williamson.

Recommendations for the Detection and Mitigation of Laurel Wilt Disease in Avocado and Related Tree Species in the Home Landscape

Avocados growing on a tree. Avocado fruit. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

Avocado trees are a popular choice for homeowners in Florida, with over 600,000 growing in Florida home landscapes. However, avocado trees as well as others in the Lauraceae family are susceptible to laurel wilt disease, which can kill a tree in as few as three weeks. This new 7-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department provides home owners recommendations for identifying and mitigating laurel wilt disease in the home landscape. Written by Jonathan H. Crane, Jeff Wasielewski, Daniel Carrillo, Romina Gazis, Bruce Schaffer, Fredy Ballen, and Edwards Evans.

Lettuce Cultivars Suitable for Use on Organic Soils in Southern Florida

Lettuce. UF/IFAS Photo: Thomas Wright.

Lettuce as a commercial crop is planted mainly in organic soils (“muck”) in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) in south Florida. This updated 6-page publication of the UF/IFAS Horticultural Sciences Department presents a summary of previous cultivar releases by UF/IFAS as well as a description of cultivars currently planted in the EAA. Written by German Sandoya and Huangjun Lu.